He Was There for Me : Anonymous
Psalm 139:1-16 (ESV)
1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me! 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 3 You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. 5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. 7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” 12 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. 13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
Growing up in Korea, my family used to move a lot. We probably moved once every year during my elementary school years. Because of this, I didn't have any friends and I hated that. I also didn’t really talk much. When people tried to talk to me, I would simply walk away. I remember people asking me if I could talk or if I were mute. I didn't want to talk to people because I didn't want people to find out things about me or my family. My stepmother also didn't want me to talk to others about us. But once the neighbors found out about us, we would pack up and move, as we always did.
When I was about five or six years old, I remember sitting in a coffee shop with a lady and my father. At the time, I wasn’t even sure if he was actually my father as I only had seen him a couple of times. It was the lady at the coffee shop who told me that he was my father and I would go live with him. After a brief talk, my father asked me to come with him. Then the lady cried out my name a few times as I walked out with my father and got into a cab with him. I wasn’t really sure why the lady was crying at the time. After a long cab ride, I walked into an apartment with him and met another lady. I still remember vividly the moment when I first met her. She asked what my name was and I answered her with a very timid voice. She gave me a tight hug and told me that she was my mother. I knew she wasn’t my real mother, but I remember feeling safe. I also liked being in a nice and clean apartment, which was much better than where I used to live.
Until that time, I was hungry and lonely. I remember scrapping leftover rice from a gigantic rice pot and eating it with soy sauce, because there was nothing else to eat and no one was giving me food. Also I remember living with other family members, but don't have any memory of my parents. It was obvious to me that I was born out of wedlock. Perhaps I wanted to erase this memory from my life. Maybe this is the reason I didn’t want to talk to anyone.
My father was getting divorced with a lady whom I thought for a long time was my biological mother. I only met her once. While I was living with my stepmother, she made a brief stop at my house and tried to talk to me but my stepmother got very upset and pushed her out of our apartment. I remember wondering if she was my biological mother.
I also heard from my grandmother that I had four brothers, but I did not have any memory of meeting them. My grandmother would visit us from time to time and talk about how I was a part of a big family with many cousins and uncles. But I was never invited to any of the family gatherings. I would always spend time together with my stepmother while my father would attend family gatherings on his own.
I think I got used to being alone, not having any friends, and not having my father around during the holidays. My father was always busy. He would come home around midnight almost every day. Although I did not express my feelings, I was angry and disappointed at him. My stepmother was always afraid. She was afraid that someone would find out about our situation and afraid that my father would leave us. I felt better by myself. I did not have to talk to anyone about my family.
Years passed and we moved to the States when I was in high school. That was when I met God. Although I wasn't sure who God was, I liked being at church. Every time I attended Friday services and sang praise songs, I was overwhelmed with joy and comfort.
A few years later, I went to college. Then I graduated and got a job. And then I got married. Life moved on. I felt like things were in order and that I no longer needed God. But this feeling didn’t last long. Life kept throwing trials, hardships, disappointments and sorrow at me. Then my feelings of anger and loneliness came back as if they’ve never left me. Things got worse when my stepmother fully disclosed my family story for the first time about ten years ago. She told me that my father was going to send me away for adoption. I was supposed to be sent away for adoption a couple of days after I met my mother who raised me. She also told me that the lady from the coffee shop was my biological mother, and the lady who came to visit us that one time was someone my father was married to previously. The four brothers I supposedly have are from that family. Since my father passed, I have no means to meet my biological mother again. There is no contact information, no way to meet her. I felt betrayed by my father. I felt betrayed by life.
My feeling of loneliness continued. I asked myself, “How was David able to rely on God so much during the time of hardship and betrayal?” “Is God going to bless me as He blessed David?” “How is He going to bless me?” “Will I one day be able to dance before God as David did?” Although I loved God, I was also angry at Him. To me, image of a “father” was someone I blamed for having multiple families; someone who abandoned me as well as his other family members. To him, my existence was never welcomed. I was hidden away as a shame.
As I struggled to find father’s love, God sent people into my life to pray for me. There was someone who approached me and told me that God has given her a vision about how much He loves me. Although I haven’t shared my story with anyone up to this point, she said that God knows me and my struggles. When I was young and alone, feeling afraid and lonely, He was there for me. He has always been there with me and He loves me. He is my Father.
As I prayed one day, God gave me a vision and took me on a journey back to my childhood. He was there when I felt scared of being alone. When I wondered if someone would come home before dark, God stood by me. When I wondered about the source of the natural force that creates the thunders and lightning, He whispered into my ears that they were His creation. When I cried as my mother pleaded my father to come home, He cried with me. It didn’t matter how hurt and lonely I was. He was there with me, holding my hands. He was there to wipe my tears. As I cried out to ask Him why, He simply held me tight and told me that He loves me. I realized that His love towards me is the same love that David felt in the Bible.
For Your Reflection
Although I am certain of His steadfast love for me, I will never fully understand the reasons He allowed the things that happened to me in the past. But by sharing my story with you, I hope to share God’s consolation. We may truly never understand why certain things happenin our lives, but know that He was, is, and will always be with you because He loves you.